How to Interview for Your Next Hire

When you’re searching for your next hire, you may be losing good candidates if your interview process needs improvement. Hiring managers often forget that the interview process is a courtship; a two-way street. Every touchpoint matters and impacts the talent you attract, your retention after hire, and your overall company reputation. 

Here are some tips to ensure you set yourself up for a successful interview process that helps you attract and retain the best talent for your business.

Move fast and be decisive

There can be multiple layers to an interview process — particularly in higher-level positions when there are more stakeholders involved. But if the process becomes too long, candidates begin to question whether or not they want to pursue opportunities with your company. If you’re this indecisive now, will they struggle to get anything done as an associate? They may question if there are budgeting issues that are preventing you from moving forward with a hire.

The employers who have the most efficient hiring process get the best talent. Be prepared to make decisions so candidates feel confident about working with you and don’t decide to stay put or go elsewhere while you’re dragging your feet.

Know who you’re looking for

Part of moving fast is knowing what you’re looking for in a candidate. We ask our clients both

what they are looking for and not looking for in their next hire. If somebody didn’t work out in the past, why? What skills does a candidate need to succeed? Clearly defining who you’re looking for allows us as recruiters to find better candidates, and empowers you to confidently make faster hiring decisions.

Through our 40-plus years of experience, we know that making the wrong hiring decision will cause issues in the long-term, and we’re committed to finding the right person for every opening. Knowing what makes “the right person” is a critical step.

Set clear expectations and communicate often

Throughout the hiring process, communication is key. Set expectations upfront with candidates, letting them know what to expect. When things stall or change, communicate with them to let them know why things are shifting and how to move forward. Candidates are understanding of change, but a failure to communicate at all sends a red flag.

Keep in mind that these conversations have implications, even if (perhaps especially if) you don’t hire a candidate. Especially in small hiring markets, word travels fast. Perception is reality, and a bad first impression can have a ripple effect on your future recruiting efforts. That’s why at M&B, we take a transparent approach where all parties involved have a clear and complete understanding of our process.

Refine your process

A solid framework can help ensure a smooth process. It is a good idea to have an overall hiring plan, and then refine it for each position. Some things to consider include:

  • The order of interviews and who is involved
  • Type of interview (phone, virtual, or in-person)
  • Guidelines for in-person interviews to make candidates feel safe amid COVID-19 concerns
  • Consistent interview questions based on who you’re seeking

Consistency is an issue we often see arise when several people are interviewing candidates. Everyone should be on the same page (which goes back to knowing who you’re looking for). If you ask all candidates the same questions, it’s easier to compare candidates and make clearer decisions. You’re ranking apples to apples and can fairly and clearly assess your options.

Recruiters often forget that the interview process is a courtship; a two-way street. It’s not only about finding the right person for the job, it’s also about convincing them that you’re the right fit for them. They’ll get a feel for what kind of company you’ll be to work for based on those first interactions and how organized the entire interview process is.

If you know your interview process needs improvement, we can help you create a structure and plan designed to help you achieve your hiring goals. Get in touch with us today.

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